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Park lake will be drained for project

March 30, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Monday evening, Kyler Bueno, 3, was tossing bread crumbs into waters with foot-long carp just a few inches from the edge of the upper lake at Hagerstown City Park.

"I'm feeding the fish," Kyler said gleefully, with his father and grandfather at his side.

Around the park's upper lake, which fronts the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, smiles like Kyler's may be in short supply once construction work scheduled for later this summer begins.

The city requested bids Friday for a construction project at the park that will drain about 2 feet of water off the park's upper lake, exposing some of the shallow lake bed, likely until December, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said Friday.

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The project is budgeted at about $420,000 and is set to begin in mid- to late June, Tissue said.

If all goes well, the contract, which must be approved by the City Council, will be awarded at the end of April, Tissue said. The project will not begin until after Blues Fest, the city's annual music festival scheduled June 4-6.

The lake, which is 4 feet deep at its deepest point, will be partially drained, leaving about 2 feet of water. Tissue said the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will remove most of the fish, which are primarily carp, and relocate them to other places such as golf course ponds.

Tissue said he expects the waterfowl on the lake, such as ducks and geese, will move to other areas of the park.

Tissue said the work will replace lake walls that were built in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

"They're shot," he said.

The stone walls will be removed, concrete footers will be installed and new stone walls will surround the main lake, Tissue said. New sidewalks, landscaping and a set of stairs leading to the Museum of Fine Arts also are planned.

This is the last phase of a three-part project that began in the mid-1990s. Tissue said the other two phases cost between $200,000 and $300,000 each.

Fred Gayman, 57, Kyler Bueno's grandfather, said the work wouldn't be too disruptive because there still are things to do at the park.

"I guess they're gonna make it better, right?" said Alex Bueno, 27, Kyler Bueno's father.

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